Images of haunted forests, dark monasteries and Dracula’s castle are usually the first thoughts that come to mind when talking about Romania. But there’s more this country than vampires and haunted homes. Savvy travelers book cheap flights to Romania for excellent skiing options in the mountain region, and unparalleled nightlife in Romania’s capital Bucharest. But before Romania was a popular tourist destination, it was a communist country struggling to survive. Thanks to increased tourism, however, Romania’s economy has flourished and travelers continue to book flights to Romania every year.
It’s likely you’ll encounter a few vampire hunters on your flight to Romania. The country’s most famous tourist destination is Transylvania, home to Bran Castle, where Count Dracula was said to visit. Sitting atop a cliff, legends of vampires roam the castle quarters and wait patiently for nightfall. Situated just behind Transylvania are the Carpathian Mountains. Nature-enthusiasts book flights to Romania for amazing skiing and hiking trails in the mountains. If sun and surf is more your style, head toward the beaches of the Black Sea. For the night-lover, a stay in Bucharest will be a highlight of the Romania trip. Stylish restaurants, booming nightlife and plenty of bars and attractions keep the city alive with character and charisma.
Romania has four distinct seasons. The best time to visit is between May and June or September and October, when the cool spring and fall months make for a comfortable sightseeing. It’s hot from July to August and very cold and snowy from December to March. It rains throughout the year, with spring and summer seeing the most moisture.
Best Time to Fly to Romania
The summer months, July and August. May to July is a good time to look for cheap flights to Romania. The weather is pleasant and the tourist attractions are uncrowded.
In general, the winter months; however, this is when skiers and snowboarders head for the slopes of Poiana, Sinaia (known as Carpathians Pearl), Busteni, Predeal and Azuga.
Getting around Romania
Most of the major car-rental companies are represented in Romania.
Public transportation is decent. Several bus companies offer reasonably priced services between the cities and there is a well-developed railway network as well. Tickets are inexpensive. Finally, taxis are plentiful. It’s a good idea to settle on the fare in advance.
The following chart gives approximate journey times fromBucharest
(in hours and minutes) to other major cities and towns in Romania.
Romania Travel Information
- Bran Castle, towering over the countryside, is near the medieval town of Brasov, and is synonymous with Dracula. Although the castle never belonged to Prince Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s famous vampire, he is believed to have visited there several times. The castle, with the nearby village museum, is one of Romania’s most popular tourist attractions where you can buy vampire wine, statues and paintings of Vlad and sweaters. Vlad’s “real” castle is in Poenari, Central Romania. The fortress sits high on a cliff, an imposing set of ruins, above the Arges River. According to legend, it was into this river that Vlad’s first wife threw herself rather than be captured by the advancing Turks.
- Brasov is a beautiful old town, home to the Piata Sfatului (House of the Council) which hosts The Gold Stag, an international music festival.
- Poiana Brasov is a ski resort about 9 miles away. Other ski resorts in the country include Sinaia, known as the Pearl of the Carpathians.
- Bucharest is one of those beautiful European cities that is described as “the Paris of …” The city boasts the second-biggest building in the world – Palace of the Parliament or the People’s House – built by Ceauşescu. It houses the Romanian Parliament and National Museum of Contemporary Art. The Arcul de Triumf (Triumphal Arch) is also worth a look. It was built in 1935, modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The Memorial of Rebirth is newer, unveiled in 2005 to commemorate the victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. It is often called "the toothpick and the olive".
- The famous painted monasteries of Moldovita, Sucevita, Humor and Voronet are in the north.
- Romania has more than one third of Europe's mineral and thermal springs. Spas include: Mangalia, Neptun, Eforie Nord and Covasna.